Monday, 11 February 2013

Foods to keep you cozy...

Hello to you!

After my last post I was thinking about what can keep you cozy, and it came to me that one of the best things is some good comfort food. So here are a couple of my favourite recipes to make when it's cold outside. I don't pretend to be an expert chef but I come from a family of caterers so I hope some of the knowledge has seeped through!

I've tried to give approximate measurements per person as I find it easier to work things out that way myself, and the leeway is for varying appetites. My husband can eat double what I can at mealtimes, I assume many households are similar!

The ultimate comfort food. Thought to have originated in India and been brought over to England during Victorian times, when it was enjoyed at breakfast. I could happily eat it for any meal! There are millions of recipes online, but this is how I do it

50-75g white rice per person
50-75g smoked haddock per person (I prefer undyed but the dyed stuff does give a nice colour)
1-2 eggs per person
1 1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche per person
1 cup milk
1 cup water

Pre heat the oven to 200
Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, then run cold water into the pan for about 5 minutes or as long as possible
Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. I favour the boil in the bag kind as it's easy to drain, but it's up to you.
Place the haddock in an ovenproof dish and pour in the milk and water. This should about half cover the fish, add or remove some mixture according to the dish and fish size. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
With a fork, flake the fish into chunks, removing any bones. Peel the eggs and cut into 6 pieces.
In a big saucepan, over a low heat, combine the cooked, drained rice and creme fraiche. Gently stir in the eggs and fish and warm together. Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper.
Garnish with parsley and serve!

Delightfully garlicky baked chicken

This is a dish my mother taught me to make. It is so easy it's ridiculous, and I rely on it on days I can't be bothered with too much cooking, as its effort to deliciousness ratio is pretty impressive.

2-3 chicken thighs per person
1 onion per 1-2 people
3-6 new potatoes per person, cut into reasonable chunks
1-5 garlic cloves per person, depending on personal preference and clove size (We adore garlic, and when I cook this I usually have about 6, but I really like it!), with the skin left on
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Rosemary (my mother uses fresh from the garden, but we don't have that luxury so I use dried)

Chop the onion in half and peel. Cut each half into 3, carefully cutting into the rooty end to hold the layers together into segments.
In a roasting dish place the chicken thighs, potato chunks and onion segments. If you like your garlic crispy, pop it in amongst the other bits, if, like me, you like it soft, tuck the cloves under the chicken thighs.
Give the whole lot a good cover of oil, an oil spray is very useful for this, otherwise get your (clean!) hands in and rub it about a bit.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and rosemary.
Bake at 200 for 45 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear when you spear them with a skewer or other pointed device. 
Lovely with a green salad, or steamed broccoli or cabbage.

If anyone reading has any good recipes to warm us up, please do share!

Cherry x

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